IPL 2024 and the Afghanistan T20I series are both unclear for Hardik Pandya’s recovery: Report

<p>India’s all-rounder Hardik Pandya was finally ruled out of the 2023 World Cup due to an ankle injury. He was not there for the December campaign in South Africa and the home white-ball series against Australia. Even though it was anticipated that he would be ready for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan in early January, a PTI report indicates that India may be without the all-rounder once again, raising questions about their captain for the match at home.</p>
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<p>India’s penultimate Twenty20 International assignment before the World Cup in June is a three-match series against Afghanistan, which takes place between January 11 and January 17. It was already announced that Suryakumar Yadav will miss the series due to an ankle sprain sustained during a T20I match in Johannesburg against South Africa. It can take six weeks for Suryakumar to recover from a suspected tear.</p>
<p>According to PTI, Hardik is unlikely to recover from his ankle injury very soon, which means he may miss the 2023 IPL season in addition to the Afghanistan series.</p>
<p>Under the condition of anonymity, a BCCI source told PTI, “There is no update on Hardik’s fitness status as of now and one can say there remains a big question mark of him being available before the end of IPL.”</p>
<p>This may be a major setback for the Mumbai Indians and Team India. The national team’s selectors may want Rohit Sharma to come back to try and lead the team to victory against Afghanistan. However, considering that Ravindra Jadeja was Suryakumar’s vice-captain during the South Africa T20I series, he may be the choice if the India skipper decides to prolong his leave of absence. The all-rounder should exercise caution while managing his workload, however, since he will play in all five Test matches against England. Even the Asian Games gold medallist Ruturaj Gaikwad, who led India, will miss the series due to a fractured finger.</p>
<p>The Mumbai Indians have named Hardik as their captain for the 2024 Indian Premier League season, replacing Rohit’s ten-year leadership role that saw him guide the team to five championships. Only towards the end of last month was Hardik returned to Mumbai from the Gujarat Titans in an all-cash transaction.</p>

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